I just want to tell you about these links. Each of them made me really happy to find. Maybe one, or all four, will make you happy:

1. How to ruin your image with your signature file.
This is a great post about the stupid fonts people use in their signature file and what those fonts mean about the person. The bottom line: Don’t use a special font. Express yourself through your ideas, not your font choice.


2. How to survive high school
This would not be notable except that it’s part of Wikipedia’s how to section. First, I didn’t know there was a how to section. (Okay. Update. Daniel, at Om Strategy, sets me straight on the wiki world. Wikihow is not Wikipedia.) But then I was charmed to see that this topic is listed. Although I am pretty sure that all the how-tos in the world would not have gotten me through high school unscarred…


3. How to find a synonym, or just do something cool on your computer
When I taught creative writing, I told my upstart students at Boston University that they should never use a thesaurus because you should write like you talk and if you can’t come up with the word on your own, you can be pretty sure you don’t use it when you talk.

So, putting that advice aside, I went hunting for a synonym for spark. And I found this amazing site that doesn’t just find synonyms. It literally makes language come alive. Words slide and gyrate and bump into place. I found myself looking for synonyms I didn’t need just to watch what happens.


4. How to force companies to be socially responsible with just one click
via TechCrunch:

DoTheRightThing is a Digg-like site where people submit stories about companies acting in ways that can be considered ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Other users then vote on the goodness or badness of those actions and add comments. The site calculates an overall ‘goodness’ score, ranging from ‘severe’ on the negative end to ‘pioneer’ on the positive end.”

It’s interesting to read what companies are doing and see how they score. Also, it’s fun to harbor a fantasy that this site will get influential enough that companies will have to respond to accusations that get voted to the top.

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6 replies
  1. omstrategy
    omstrategy says:

    hi, Penelope, how are you?

    Thanks for those – I particularly enjoyed the fonts article.

    I just wanted to post a minor correction: While wikihow uses software that was created for wikipedia, the two aren’t directly related.

    Have a great weekend,


  2. Stever
    Stever says:

    I always hate when people have the 7 line signatures that get posted on reply also. Even worse is when these people only work with people internal to their organization!

  3. Noel Jensen
    Noel Jensen says:

    Ouch! I know that most business people hate the Comic Sans font. Anyway, I have hearing that for years. (I used it for a group paper when I was working on my MBA and was torn up by my compatriots. However, I don’t think that it affected our grade.)

  4. Adam
    Adam says:

    In concurrence with Stever’s thoughts, I also find it to be a pet peeve when a signature takes half a page and includes everything just short of a SS# and blood type. Maybe it is a coincidence (at least in my observations of internal email), but it seems these very same folks with the long and possibly boastful signatures are the ones that are unqualified for the position they are in and thus trying hard to convince themselves and others of who they are. How often have you asked yourself, “How did this one become a VP?” and come to realize it is somebody who's simply well connected? The converse also holds true as well because those who are competent and confident in their role generally keep their signatures extremely brief if any at all. Anyway, I've noticed this coincidence at all levels of the career ladder.

    P, thanks for the light-hearted article on a Friday. Have a good weekend!

    * * * * *

    This is a very funny comment, Adam. Thanks.

    Also, you make me want to study signatures to see if I your theory holds true for my contacts.


  5. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    Hi Penelope,

    Thanks for the kind words about dotherightthing. The site was also featured in the NY Times, following the post from Mike A on TechCrunch, and I have been doing lots of interviewing lately… yet have to apologize to the world for getting buried in grant applications and fund-related activities for the past couple weeks.

    Thanks for the support and sharing our vision that one day dotherightthing will become influential enough to change the ways companies act, in order to be recognized for doing the right thing (I am most excited by the opportunity to reveal the noteworthy companies that do tremendous things to benefit society, which receive little or no recognition today, although the negative stuff will be interesting and likely popular as well). Just wait until we are tracking 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 1000 companies in real time… and we have plenty up our sleeve to get things interesting. We’re just getting started.

    All my best,

  6. Mark
    Mark says:

    I cannot say enough how much I love the Visual Thesaurus. I stumbled across it while taking an advanced expository writing class. The free trial got me through for a while, but I decided I would need it for other classes and writing too.

    Thanks for sharing so much information.


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